Pentax talks full frame again

DC.Watch published an interview with Pentax Japan development chief Toshiyuki Kitazawa. The direct Google translation is difficult to understand, but published several quotes from the interview confirming that the company is working on a full frame DSLR camera that will probably be released after 2013:

 “We are working on it [the FF camera] as a product proposal, so it will, without doubt, be released.we are developing with an eye to a post-2013 release

Pentax also confirmed that a 645D successor is currently in development.

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  • Sandusky

    2014…Late for the party and it’s still gonna be over-priced.

    • Pobody’s Nerfect

      While I agree with your first point, not so sure it will be overpriced. But it might be, which would be a shame for a company that has struggled to gain any real traction since its first digital offerings.

      This one thing is certain, though; there is little doubt as to who will be supplying the sensor for this – Sony. They currently make the sensor in the K-5II/K-5IIs and K-30, and the next “logical” bump in pixel count would have this FF Pentax shipping with a 24MP Sony sensor like the one found in the Nikon D600 and Sony A99.

      Of course, the moment they release a FF, they alienate an entire user base who’s been weaned on APS-C and will have to get out FF capable lenses ASAP to stop the bleeding.

      Should be interesting to see what happens.

      • Dan

        The overwhelming majority of the APS-C users won’t even consider moving to FF so this will hardly alienate them. Sure it takes some resources from the development of APS-C lenses but that system is already quite good.
        I’m just curious about who will buy this camera, most of their current users won’t. They simply can’t afford it, even if they price the camera the same as the K-5. To quote the guy from lensrentals: “the price of a FF system is not the camera, it is definitely not the camera.”
        Many of those who can afford it already own canikon ff system. They simply have to offer something very, very good so it becomes worth it to switch.

      • Pentax User

        I have lots of 35mm lenses that would work on such a camera no problem!

        • Bollox

          How dare you contradict a forum crapper with your practical experience? LOL

          • EV

            Indeed, that and the K5 was pricier than the d7000 when it came out, its why I got the K5.
            That, and the cost of FF high end glass is pretty much the same regardless of who you go with. If its high end, you are paying for what you get.

      • Markac

        By 2014 Sony plans to use a 2nd generation version of the current 36MP FF sensor (presently used by Nikon in the D800) in a later version of the A99. Pentax would be better advised to use that. At the same time, Pentax should take the opportunity to move the 645 up to full frame MF.

    • Nick Brandt

      I agree. Pentax, late as always, missed a huge opportunity to release a FF to compete with the D600 and 6D.

      Pentax better hurry up before Sony buys them out too.

  • jake

    actually they did not say after 2013 , but actually in 2013.

  • King Of Swaziland

    Apparently Ricoh thinks the world is going to stop and wait just for them until 2014?


    • jake

      as I said they actually said that they would like to replease their first FF camera in next year(in 2013), not 2014.

      I think whoever translated it could not understand original Japanese.

      but I basically agree with you, they are retarded ,they really are.
      noone will wait for them to do it, if anyone really wants to get a relatively small sized cheap FF now , they can get the D600 or EOS6D or A99.
      So, they should have shuned this market and should make the 645D more affordable with a bit better sensor(I prefer CCD).

  • ras

    omfg, that is great news. you don’t know how long i’ve been waiting for a full frame pentax. the sony a99 is very tempting, but i still prefer optical viewfinders. just give me ibis, 36mp, a 100% viewfinder, weather seals, and several takumars on intro: 28/2.8, 50/1.4, and 85/1.8!!!

    • svaldvard

      anything else?

  • jake

    I actually think they should not go FF but should make the 645D more affordable, FF is getting too boring.

    • +1

      Would be a very smart move… but Pentax isn’t known for that sort of thing… like when they didn’t put in-body IS on their APS-C mirrorless… or like how they crippled it by making it K-mount only (only Pentax users don’t understand the benefit)… or like when they stopped making proper f/1.4 fast primes.

      • bossa

        Which Mirrorless APS-C camera are your referring to? The K-01 definitely has IBIS (SR) and they don’t make any other APS-C MILC. If you are referring to the Ricoh GXR, then that had nothing to do with Pentax.

      • Troll Basher

        You need to get your facts right about in-body stabilization

        • You’re right… I don’t pay close attention to Pentax so I forgot that it did.

          Meant to say, if the K-01 or whatever had a shorter flange, it would’ve been the only APS-C mirrorless out there with IBIS… which would’ve even given it an edge over anything Sony has on their Nex line. But they screwed up… so yeah.

          • bossa

            “Screwed up?” That depends on your values and perspective.

            If they’d have made a smaller (thinner) body they’d, most likely, have to make larger lenses. It seems to me that one slightly larger body and lots of smaller lenses is going to be more portable than one skinny camera and a lot of huge lenses.

            Also, they could make K-01 dedicated lenses where the rear element is actually inside the body of the K-01 so not everyone has to think the same way about these things. The manufacturers are all coming from a different market position, and keeping in mind their existing product, financial situation and where they think technologies are going, they have to try and chart a course in that general direction.

          • If they’d have made a smaller (thinner) body they’d, most likely, have to make larger lenses. It seems to me that one slightly larger body and lots of smaller lenses is going to be more portable than one skinny camera and a lot of huge lenses.

            Dumbest thing I heard someone say in a while. What else to expect from people who buy this sort of junk.

            The overall size of a typical mirrorless camera + body is small compared to a DSLR + equivalent lens. Sheesh!

            Word of advice… seek help.

          • bossa

            You are a tool.

      • Alex

        Yet another post in which genotypewriter managed to be wrong on all accounts…
        1. K-01 definitely have SR – it’s even clearly marked on the camera. You don’t have to held the camera in your hands, not even to read the specs list – you just have to see a front image of the K-01 to know it has SR.
        2. Most IL cameras are limited to a single mount :p , and naturally Pentax used their own. Pentax is under no obligation to introduce restrictions (i.e. needing adapters for K-mount lenses, and for them having to make an entirely new lens line just for this model) to allow us to mount other’s manufacturers lenses.
        3. The DA* 55mm f/1.4 is in production. I’m not sure about the FA 50mm f/1.4, but it still can be bought new.

        • Well you wouldn’t know if I’m right or wrong because you need to know the subject to verify me.

          I say this because having a shorter flange doesn’t create a restriction. It allows you to use more lenses. And have you had a look at what Sony has done with adapters? Pentax should’ve taken notes.

          Also it’s clear that you haven’t used a mirrorless camera before. Mirrorless is next to useless with large SLR lenses. Sure, Pentax has some primes that are much smaller than Canon and Nikon stuff because they’re slow and there’s no USM… but the SLR flange adds almost 3cm to what could be a smaller camera. For example that almost triples the length of the 40mm f/2.8 from what it could’ve been. Of course then lens would need to be redesigned to use the shortened length… maybe it’s another sign that Pentax is not interested in developing such lenses.

          • Alex

            Oh, really? If you say I don’t know the subject, then the K-01 does not have SR, and the DA* 55mm f/1.4 does not exist?

            Yeah, yeah, the Sony LA-EA1/2 are really great, yet a Pentax version can’t work because of those (almost) 3cm. I’m now sure Pentax wanted to make a dedicated APS-C MILC system, but got scared when they saw the humongous 40mm Limited+adapter… definitely not because their resources are now best put in the K-mount and the 645D.

          • ROFL… it’s a waste of my time to answer people like you.

  • duo

    Although this is good news for existing pentax owners, but..
    1- why would you put a legacy lenses on a FF body with 24+ MP? The lenses are just simply not good enough. Even Canon’s and Nikon’s are updating their entire line of lenses released w/in last 10-15 years (i.e. Nikon 85mm 1.8 G AF-S) for the newer high-res sensors.
    2- why would a new FF buyer looking at pentax when there are other systems available with superior AF performance, and third party support?
    3- why would they release a FF body if they’re not going to be compatible with DA and even DA* lenses?
    4- why would they release a FF body when they have 645 system which obviously is targeted at the Pros?

    conclusion is that FF pentax will never come. It just doesn’t make good business sense, and not enough users to support the brand, despite the noise Pentax fans have been making.

    • Answers:

      1. A lot of the lenses are crap wide open but stopped down they’re adequate for 24MPs. Don’t forget… if there are lenses that are good enough for a 10MP APS-C sensor, they’re not going to be worse on a 24MP FF sensor.

      2. If Pentax keeps in-body IS, they’d be the only ones doing so… given that Sony’s now all DSLT.

      3. No sure where you got that from… and I haven’t read the whole interview.

      4. Because there’s a market segment between APS-C and 645-crop? Like jake said above, it’d be a lot better if they focused on making the 645 better/cheaper. FF land has already been conquered by a bunch (Canon, Sony and Nikon) who have no experience in DMF… and Pentax happens to have experience in making very good MF and DMF stuff plus there’s a whole lot of legacy Pentax lenses out there. C/S/N have no such advantage… but still Pentax wants fight the FF battle that they’ve already lost.

      • MuttonPuncher

        Geno, It’s not a win or lose situation for Pentax and for any camera manufacturer for that matter. It’s just a matter of competing….You said it yourself…in camera IS. That will enable Pentax to compete with the right to say that any legacy K mount lens regardless of manufacturer will have image stabilization. Pentax has proven that they can produce very good APS-C sized cameras that are very compact, weather sealed, great ergonomics and user friendly. Not to mention they are as good as Nikon when it comes to squeezing the best image quality out of Sony sensors. All this with in camera IS. I don’t see any reason why Pentax cannot take all off this to the next level with FF.

      • LX

        You all very clever except pentax isn’t?

    • pooh

      4. Why did they release the LX when the had the beastly Pentax 6×7 which is obviously is targeted at, say, “the Pros”?

      I bet it won’t take much serious research for you to realize that “the Pros” isn’t a single collective of photographers that simply run around with the biggest, heaviest camera in their arsenal.

    • Ziggy

      Watch for more pentax lens products with their new HD coating. They are just preparing themselves for the release of new products. But what do you care if you don’t use Pentax anyways????

    • bossa

      FA & DA* lenses that ARE FF lenses:
      FA 31 Limited
      FA 77 Limited
      DFA 100 Macro
      FA 50/1.4

      Then there’s a few Sigma and Tamron lenses to choose from as well…

  • CJ

    Honestly, I am waiting for the Mamiya 6 or 7 to be Mamiya D6 or D7……

  • Hi guys,

    I’m the one who originally translated the article and Jake is correct. I got the release date wrong and have amended the original article to reflect this. It will indeed be a 2013-or-after release.

    In my defence, I was translating the article after an 18-hour day. Hope the inaccuracy did not affect anyone adversely.

    • King Of Swaziland

      Didn’t affect me adversely. My 14 wives and 23 children have all been duly equipped with identical D600’s (even a king can only afford so much). I’m just here to provide snarky commentary.

  • Mark

    How can you be late in manufacturing consumer stuff?

    Ah crap, everyone already bought a camera in 2012.


    • Haha

      LOL you’re damn right!
      Some people often thought the whole world revolves around them, if it’s too late for them, they think it’s too late for everyone.

      Personally, I hope they could make something like a medium format camera in the old Pentax 67 form. The 645D is kinda huge for everyday usage.

      • fab

        Owning and still using a Pentax 67 as my main camera at the moment, I can say that it is also huge and heavy. There is a limit where camera is easy to carry, and the 645D and 67 are both largely above that limit 🙂

    • Mike1

      Too late!? Would it be too late for Canon and Nikon to replace their FF in 2015? Thanks to Ebay, switching brands is not as costly as many think. As long as Pentax sticks to their edges to develop a true photographer’s camera, there is always a market for it.

    • bossa

      Didn’t you hear that the Human Race has stopped breeding and that there won’t be ‘new’ buyers for another 20 years… 😉

      • Alex

        That was funny 🙂

  • timon

    645 format is a less optimistic future, Hasselblad to close to Sony therein a true reason is Sony being developing a 100 MP 35mm sensor. Maybe 2017, people will see this sensor in cameras.

  • Pablo Ricasso

    I’ve a feeling there are a bunch of people with Pentax lenses who are still shooting film. In no way is it too late. Now it is possible to make a camera for a couple grand. And yes, I would like to see the new 645.

  • Karol Wojdyna

    Why not 2016? Or maybe 2020 so it is tested better? Why so much rush?

  • endgadget

    Watch out Canon and Nikon!

    Pentax is coming out with a FF to compete with the 6D and D600 in 2014!!!

  • Raffwal

    Yeah, I think they’re expecting to sell one to both the two individuals who are still at that time interested in a FF camera and have not switched brand.

  • Cessnakid

    I have been shooting Pentax since the S1a in 1965. Pentax has dropped the ball. After all these years – I have ordered my Sony A99.

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